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As each March approaches, I eagerly look for some early sign of spring. For me it is seeing the crocus push their way up through the partially frozen ground. I watch for them for days, until the one sunny day they burst into bloom and I know that spring is truly on its way. That day can seem to take forever, but with a little planning in the fall, you can enjoy a whole spring garden of colorful tulips, fragrant hyacinths and of course crocus—all indoors in February. To get this spring bloom, you will need to "force" the bulbs.
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The opportunity of having a whole glorious season of flowering daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths indoors during winter is a reality. A bright floral display and fragrant aroma is always welcome when snow is on the ground and bundling up to keep warm outside is a must. Little minor bulbs, such as snowdrops, scilla, muscari, chionodoxa, and crocus force equally well as the large major bulbs, daffodils, tulips, and hyacinth.
Both the major and minor bulbs are handled in the same way, although the forcing period may vary slightly. Some cultivars early cultivars and those that do not grow too tall are better suited for forcing than others.
Catalogs will usually identify forcing varieties.The term forcing refers to inducing a plant to produce its shoot, leaf, and flower ahead of its natural schedule and out of its natural environment.
To force hardy bulbs you need to mimic and compress the process the plant would undergo outdoors in the garden. The type of pot plastic versus clay is a personal preference. Plastic pots do not dry out as rapidly as clay, are easier to clean and lighter in weight, as well as less expensive. Bulbs will grow equally well in either. The pots should be scrubbed clean before use and clay pots soaked for several hours to saturate pores. When buying bulbs for forcing, always choose first-rate, top-size varieties.
High-quality bulbs are necessary because the bulb contains the food required to produce a flowering plant. Since bulbs need moisture and perfect drainage, a mixture of equal parts peat moss, potting soil, sand and vermiculite or perlite is best. Mix thoroughly and moisten with enough water to a damp consistency. If you anticipate planting bulbs outdoors after forcing, add 1 teaspoon of 5—10—5 dry fertilizer to every quart of soil mix to give the bulbs an extra boost after flowering. Hyacinths, crocus, and narcissi can be grown in pebbles and water—with no additional nutrients, however, they are usually completely exhausted and should be disposed of after blooming.
The next step in planting is to place a few pieces of broken crockery over the drainage holes, to prevent the soil from running out initially and clogging later. Fill your pot half-full of soil mix, then adjust the soil level until the tops of the bulbs reach the rim of the container.
Plant bulbs with the pointed ends up, as close together as possible, without letting them touch. Tulip and other bulbs with a flat side should be planted with the flat side facing the edge of the container. This will allow the first leaves to form a border around the edge of the pot.Add enough soil mix to fill the pot, and water the bulbs thoroughly from the top or immerse in a tub of water - this will settle the soil around the bulbs.
Label each pot with the name of the cultivar, date of planting and date to bring out of cold storage. Daffodils, narcissi, crocus, muscari and other bulbs look great in groups of three, five, or more. Hyacinths look quite handsome when planted singly, or in groups. Dense plantings are recommended for minor bulbs. After planting, place the pots in a cool, dark place, such as a cellar or refrigerator to initiate root and shoot growth.
Other suitable environments include an insulated cold frame, under a porch, or an unheated garage. Cold storage is a critical step in the forcing process. If necessary, set boxes, pots or black garbage bags over your potted bulbs to keep them dark during the cooling period. The medium should be kept moist through the rooting and cooling period.
After five or six weeks, the roots should emerge out of the bottom of the containers of the large hardy bulbs. Forcing will take about 12 weeks for the early blooming bulbs snowdrop, crocus, daffodil and about 16 weeks for the tulips. Longer cold storage will result in taller flowers, while storage time shorter than 13 weeks will result in smaller plants and sometimes aborted flowers. Bulbs should be placed in indirect lighting and should not be allowed to dry out.
Feed weekly with a half-strength solution of houseplant fertilizer. Turning the pots every day or so keeps the flower stems straight and strong. In a week or two, the stems will elongate and the buds will become plump. Once the flowers begin to open, take the plants out of direct sunlight to prolong the bloom. You will be pleased at how quickly the bloom unfolds compared to weeks, or possibly months, before they would outside.
After flowering, cut the flower stems and place the pots in direct sunlight, keeping the foliage growing until it begins to die back.Attempts to force the same bulbs indoors will be unsuccessful, as forcing weakens the bulb and the bloom will be small and unsatisfactory the following year. Once the bulbs are back in the garden setting, they will return to a natural schedule, and in several years will again produce a wonderful show of flowers. Our favorite's Abby's Robyn Lee's Meet all of us!
Gardening Tips Pronunciation. Forcing Bulbs.
Bring the outdoors in with a host of spectacular autumn and winter flowering bulbs which can be enjoyed in your home in a vase or pot. When the weather turns chilly and jobs to do in the garden become fewer, a bit of indoor gardening with indoor flowering bulbs is a satisfying way to keep your fingers green and makes a lovely little winter project! Growing certain bulb varieties indoors is easy and also a brilliant way to introduce vibrant splashes of colour and scent to your home interior. Plus, because the plants are live, the flowers last much longer than if they were cut. There are various bulbs which you can grow successfully indoors, even without any pre-chilling, preparation or faff.
You can also get special bulbs for growing indoor plants like the GE BR This balanced-spectrum bulb offers high-quality lighting that.
Gardeners have been growing bulbs in pots and other containers for thousands of years. Compared to the garden itself, even the largest containers are tiny, cramped, highly artificial worlds where the wrong potting soil, extreme temperatures, or a couple of days without water can mean the difference between success and disappointment. On the other hand, after reviewing this page for us, our good customer and bulb-lover Elizabeth Licata of GardenRant. I am very lazy and try to get through my gardening with as little trouble to myself as possible. Fall-planted bulbs in containers have different needs than bulbs planted directly in the ground.If, on the other hand, you follow our advice carefully you can have beautiful pots of spring flowers welcoming friends to your front door or brightening your terrace. When the water in soil freezes, it expands, and that can easily break terra cotta, ceramic, and even rigid plastic pots. To avoid this, plant your bulbs in flexible plastic pots — common black plastic nursery pots, for example — and then slip these pots into decorative cache-pots in spring when the bulbs start to bloom. As for soil, even the best garden soil is usually too heavy or dense for growing bulbs in pots, and many popular potting soils will cause problems, too. Avoid mixes that are virtually all peat moss because they often stay too wet for bulbs.
Light up your home with its stunning trumpet-like blooms, strappy leaves and delicate fragrance. The plant has tall flower spires, reaching 30cm to even 60cm for some varieties, and the flower heads are large and dramatic. Amaryllis bulbs make a spectacular houseplant and are great to give as a gift. They are also ideal bulbs for kids because they are so easy to grow. You just need some soil and water, a bright windowsill and a little patience!
Many plants thrive in containers and bulb planting in pots allows for a much more flexible display, a moveable feast for the eyes, that you can adjust and update throughout the year.
Dutch hyacinth is a fragrance powerhouse. Its stocky blooms open in midspring, around the time that daffodils are hitting their stride. The blooms release a rich, full fragrance that can fill the spring garden. Indoors, pots of forced hyacinths bring spring scents to life in the heart of winter. Plant bulbs in fall for a spring show in the garden.
Consumer helplineIt is an easy and cost effective way to bring elegance and fragrance into your home.Nearly all bulbs need to grow in a well-drained but moist soil so that the roots can establish, and some also require a period of complete darkness. When the bulb is withdrawn from light, it enables root development. The leaves and flower will start reaching for the light away from the bulb once reintroduced to light. When we are growing our bulbs indoor this way, we are essentially shortening this darkness period and therefore leading the bulb to believe spring has arrived.
How to Grow Flower Bulbs in Water Forcing bulbs indoors in water may be done by simply submerging the root zone, or you can get fancy and.
I love the winter, but by March I am ready for spring. I usually have some snowdrops blooming in March on a south-facing hillside, but they are subtle, not bodacious blooms. So I plant lots of bulbs indoors in the fall and keep them cool until it is time to bring them into the warmth of the house, and I get indoor tulips, daffodils and more in March. Most bulbs are described on their packages as early, mid-season or late.
Enjoy the flamboyant blooms of amaryllis and the heady fragrance of Narcissus Paperwhite and hyacinth by growing bulbs indoors for the holidays. These fall- planted flower bulbs are easy to grow and will bloom in just a month or two. Planting bulbs indoors for Christmas requires a little forward planning; read on to discover the secrets of success. Paperwhite narcissus should be planted in October to get them to bloom for the holiday season. They naturally flower in January - February but good quality bulbs should bloom in time for the festive season. Plant the bulbs with their pointed ends just below the soil and keep them in a warm bright location.
October is the time of year to begin potting your favorite spring bulbs to prepare them for winter flowering.
A spring and summer garden is a warm welcome to your home adding to your curb appeal with colour and life! Get your garden going earlier by starting spring bulbs now. This will help you hit the ground running when warm weather settles in. Not all Bulbs are Created Equal Certain bulbs require chilling before being planted, so be careful when making your bulb choices. Bulbs that originate in a cold climate require a certain amount of time in a cold environment before they would be able to begin bloom. The bulbs need to be chilled 12 weeks or more, but pre-chilled bulbs could be purchased as well. Flowers falling into this category include: crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips.
More Information ». Paperwhite narcissus Narcissus tazetta ; synonym N. Photo by Barbara H.